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By Lee Palmer Wandel

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54 Throngs of people flocked to pilgrimage sites such as the elaborate chapel in the cathedral in Orvieto, which was dedicated to a miracle in which the host changed to flesh and bled onto the corporal that covered the altar when an unbelieving priest said Mass in neighboring Bolsena. The bloody corporal, still extant in Orvieto, was preserved in a beautiful fourteenthcentury reliquary housed in the chapel. The chapel itself is a shrine to miracle hosts; its walls are decorated with frescoes that relate and celebrate several eucharistic miracles.

In the fifteenth century, one of the most popular pilgrimage sights was Wilsnack in Germany, dedicated to 53 “Hoc autem quod sub specie carnis in hoc sacramento apparet, diu permanet, quinimmo quandoque legitur esse inclusum, et multorum episcoporum consilio in pixide reservatum; quod nefas est de Christo sentire secundum propriam speciem,” Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologicae, pars III, Q. 76 art. html. 54 Van Ausdall, “Art and Eucharist in the Late Middle Ages,” p. 605. 34 gary macy three hosts that had miraculously survived a fire in the village.

1400)” (PhD thesis, University of Nijmegen, 1966), pp. 155–170. 40 On the teaching of Alexander and his successors, see Bakker, La Raison et le Miracle, pp. 294–302. 41 Even at the time, the explanation of transubstantiation summarized by Thomas did not go uncontested. An extensive debate ensued involving both the larger question of the use of Aristotle to explain Christian mysteries and the narrower question of whether or not Aristotle’s philosophy could be used as had been suggested. While Peter Olivi (ca.

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